Sunday, January 10, 2016

Log 25: Indians (Season 3, Episode 9)

Episode 61

Lots of explosions in this one, both the kind caused by incendiary devices and the kind caused by human conflict.

1-Adam-12 is rolling past the Little Brown Hut on the way to their latest call when they receive an additional broadcast letting them know that the PR is at the location. However as they approach the location...
It gets blown to kingdom come. 


Once they arrive at what's left of Rodney's Bar, Malloy does an excellent job of directing the bystanders out of harm's way. Since there may not be a back to check out anymore, Malloy sends Reed through the front to investigate what's going on inside. Malloy remains safely outside and talks to the PR. 
[Don't get blown up in there. I'm not doing these reports on my own.]
[I'm Helen Shipley, I called you.]
[Did you do that to your hair or did the explosion do that to your hair? And is that soot on your dress or did you buy it like that?]
As the smoke clears from the blast, Mac arrives. He comments to Malloy that this is the fourth explosion in the area in six weeks. Reed then emerges from what's left of the bar and reports that nobody is inside. Helen Shipley now tells the officers that she thinks she knows who did this. She suspects the man that rents her spare room, Jake Ballard. She's seen a large black box he keeps in one of the closets. When she asked him what it contained, he laughed and said it had dynamite inside. 
"That doesn't prove he had any connection with this," Pete points out.
But Helen has more evidence that indicates Ballard may be the culprit behind the explosion. Earlier that day she listened in on a phone call where Ballard was trying to extort money from the bar's owner. The proprietor of Rodney's Bar, who is surprisingly named Tom Fowler, refused to pay Ballard. Ballard then threatened Fowler and slammed down the phone. Next, he told his landlady he'd be gone for a few days, then jumped in his pickup truck and sped down the street. 
Reed takes down Helen's statement.
Thank God the Psychedelia store across the street was spared!
Nobody asks Helen and she doesn't say, but why did she follow Ballard to Rodney's Bar? Did she warn everyone to get out of the bar? Was she just curious? If I overheard my  angry extortionist tenant who may have a box of dynamite take off like a bat out of hell after threatening someone, I would not follow that person. I would call the cops from the safety of my own home, then I would call a locksmith to change all of the locks so the angry extortionist could not get back in my house. I get that having Helen at the location made it easier to tell the story on television, but I wish they could have established why she was there.



After Helen describes Ballard and his truck, she think it's a green Chevy; Pete and Jim leave to check out Ballard's former address. As they hop in the black and white to head over to the address Helen provided, 333 Highland Street, she tells them to be careful; Jake has a terrible temper.

On their way to Highland Street Reed calls the RTO with the description of Jake Ballard. When he's finished he and Malloy discuss why a group of "hoods" would hit their area with four explosions in six weeks.
Malloy figures the area is a testing ground to see if their scare tactics work.
He explains, "They move in, blast half a dozen places to show the other small business men what can happen if they don't go along with the shakedown operation."

Reed thinks if they can find Ballard and he talks that will go a long way towards shutting down the operation. The RTO then breaks in with some additional information on Ballard; he has outstanding felony warrants from the San Diego PD for ADW and arson, he's also believed to be armed and dangerous.


As Pete and Jim roll up to Highland they see a boy hanging out on the curb, Pete wants to see if he can help them. 
This is Frankie, he likes to hunt for rocks on Highland. He shows Reed one of the rocks he found.
Reed likes it.
Frankie thinks it must be gold, it's yellow and shiny.
Frankie can't wait to show his latest rock hunting treasures to his friend Charlie. The boy thinks his friend must be one of the smartest men in the whole world, he knows a lot about rocks and other things. Malloy's interest is piqued when he hears that Charlie is a full-grown man, he asks Frankie how old his friend is. He's not sure, but he knows Charlie is old. "Even older than you," he tells Malloy.
[No respect, no respect, I tell ya.]
Malloy and Reed start walking down the row of condemned houses on Highland to find Charlie. He doesn't really have an address, Frankie says he just "sorta comes and goes".
On the way, Reed stops at the car to put them Code 6 at 333 Highlander. Funny, I thought it was Highland Street. 
They don't get too much farther down the street when they see a green Chevy pickup truck pull up in the distance.

They start moving towards the truck when they hear an argument between two men. One man demands that another give him a black box. 
Reed and Malloy know the situation is serious when they hear a gunshot.

At the end of the block, they find a man who matches Ballard's description with a gun and a black box full of dynamite.

"Police officers, Ballard, drop the gun!"
The man must be Ballard, because he drops the gun. As they move into capture him, Pete finds the man he was arguing with lying in the weeds with a gunshot wound.


The wounded man is Frankie's friend Charlie. Frankie's distraught when he sees the transient man lying there injured. He tells the boy to go home, but Frankie refuses to listen.
Frankie shows Charlie his special rock. Charlie breaks it to the kid, it's not gold, it's not worth a "plug penny". 
Pete watches Charlie and Frankie.
After the ambulance workers arrive and load Charlie onto the stretcher, Frankie walks away and drops his once precious rock.
Pete picks it up, and examines it.
"Fool's gold," he says, then tosses it away.
 

Hey, wait a second isn't this episode called "Indians"? I don't think there were any Indians involved in that case, American or Eastern. Maybe their next call, a 415 fight at 219 Cress will involve Indians.


Malloy and Reed enter the saloon at 219 Cress, there's no fight happening and nobody in the place looks happy to see them.


The senior officer of our duo has obviously been in this establishment before, he knows the bartender and two of the patrons sitting at the bar.

The bigger man in front is Johnny Littlebear and his buddy next to him is Eddie Bluehawk.
"This is the tribe's part-time social club," Johnny explains to Reed.

OK, so I guess these guys are the [American] Indians referred to in the title.
Now that all the pleasantries are out of the way, Malloy wants to know why they're there. Despite the blood on his lip, Johnny claims there was no fight.
George, the bartender, nervously states that everything is under control.
Malloy's not buying any of their stories.
Reed doesn't believe them, either.
"What happened to your lip? Run into a door?" he asks Johnny.
Johnny insists that his lip was bloodied during some friendly Navajo wrestling. He stands up from the bar and asks Eddie to demonstrate some wrestling moves with him. Eddie's not interested in putting on a show for the officers, until an enraged Johnny forces him to his feet.
The two men grapple with each other.
Pete and Jim attentively watch the demonstration.
Then Johnny suddenly flings Eddie into the jukebox. I guess that makes him the winner.
While Eddie recovers, let's take a minute to talk about the reason for the inclusion of Native Americans in the episode. California is home to more people of Native American descent than any other state in the country (courts.ca.gov). Since Adam-12 strove to accurately represent life in Los Angeles, it's fitting that the show would feature indigenous American characters just as it also focused on Asian and Latino characters. Now, this is Hollywood, so they did take some dramatic license with the character's background. For instance, Johnny and Eddie are supposed to be from the Navajo tribe, but the Navajo Nation only extends into Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; not California (navajo-nsn.gov).

Now back to our story

Before they leave the bar, Pete asks Johnny to tell them if any trouble starts.
"Anything goes down, you let us know. Huh, Johnny?"
Johnny assures Pete that they can take care of anything that happens
.
George is sure that "heavy trouble" is on the way, he can feel it in his elbow. Pete wants a report if there should be any further disturbances in his joint.
"You keep an eye on your elbow for the next few days. If it starts sending up smoke signals, drop a dime in the phone and pass it along. OK?"


When we next see our heroes they're in the car receiving a call to see the woman at 9611 Kingman Place, there's a prowler there now. Although the sun has gone down, it must have gotten warmer in L.A.
Because now they are in their Class C uniforms!


They roll up the address, but it doesn't look like there is a woman around to see.
"Doesn't look like anybody's home," observes Reed.
"9611, see the woman," repeats Malloy.
Malloy and Reed approach the front door and see someone who may be their prowler. A curly-haired man in a green windbreaker is banging on the door yelling for someone to "open up". The officers shine their flashlights on the man, turning his attention away from the door.
Well, well, well...so this is what firemen do on their night off.
You probably know that's Tim Donnelly from Emergency! playing the would-be prowler. But, did you also know that he is the brother of Adam-12 director Dennis Donnelly?
And our heroes must be superheroes, because they managed to change back into their Class A uniforms somehow.
At this point the woman they were sent to see comes running out of the house in her curlers and bathrobe demanding that Reed and Malloy arrest this fiend. But the "fiend" thinks it's the woman who is at fault in this situation.
"What are you, flipped out or something, lady?" Chet mockingly asks the old woman.
(I don't know this character's name so I'll just call him "Chet", It seems to fit.)
Chet then mentions that the woman ordered a "27" and when somebody orders a "27", it gets delivered.
Malloy's had about enough of this, he wants to know what this "27" business is all about.
Chet tells Malloy that it's in the chair and he'll show them. He goes to the white wicker chair on the porch and picks up a large pizza box, then promptly trips and makes a gooey mess all over the lady's front stoop. He offers to replace the pie, but she doesn't want anything from him. After the lady irately goes inside and slams the door shut, Malloy gets to the bottom of this cheesy affair.
He asks Chet to read the address from the delivery slip, it says "9611 Kingman Street".
Malloy points out that this is 9611 Kingman Place.
 
Ha, ha, it's good thing he was only delivering a pizza, not going to put out a fire.

Back to the hot, stuffy patrol car, where they are told by the RTO to call the watch commander.
Look, you can see his undershirt!
They end up at a phone booth where Eddie Bluehawk is waiting impatiently for them. (They must have found another phone booth along, because they have changed back into their Class A duds.) Eddie comments on how long it took them to get there, but he's in no rush to tell them why he summoned them here. He hesitates when Malloy asks him why they're there. 
Malloy's not playing any games, he wants to know what's going on
and he wants to know now.
"C'mon, Eddie, if you don't get that monkey off your back pretty soon, he's gonna start biting!"
After much back and forth they eventually get something out of Eddie. Johnny has a sixteen- year-old sister who is mixed up with a "bad Apache". Johnny told the guy to stay away from his sister, but he wouldn't listen. 

That's great and all, but it doesn't really explain why Malloy and Reed are here at this phone booth in the middle of the night. Malloy's getting even more annoyed with Eddie and he lets him know.
"C'mon, Eddie, either lay it out for us or forget it."
Eddie finally tells them what this is all about. Johnny and the bad Apache, Tshiji, are meeting up for a rumble tonight and only one of them will walk away alive. 

Now the officers just need to know the location of this showdown. Eddie doesn't want to be a snitch and tell them because it will mean that his friend gets busted. Malloy reminds him that the alternative would be worse.
"Maybe, but it's better than getting killed."
Eddie reveals the location of the brawl, the New City Power Plant. 
They all hop in the car and head over to the power plant. Reed requests that Mac meet them there.
At the power plant there is a lot of high scaffolding.
Johnny and Tshiji are fighting on a platform many feet up in the air. 

There's a lot of noise and shouting.
There's also a lot of Pete and Jim running up stairs in order to stop the fight, and there's a lot of either Johnny or Tshiji almost getting pushed off the platform while they battle. 

Pete and Jim reach Johnny just as Tshiji has him in a chokehold.
Johnny is not happy to see the officers, though. He argues that this is a "private beef".
Since this "private beef" is on television for all to see, let's see what the other party involved looks like. You know, the guy that's fooling around with Johnny's sixteen-year-old sister.
What the...? Johnny, if a guy this old is involved with your teenaged sister, you don't fight him at the power plant, you call the police! Forget Frankie's friend Charlie, I think this guy is older than Malloy.
Malloy gets the last word in by letting Johnny know what makes a private beef a public matter.
"We play by a different set of rules, Johnny. When one man's gonna kill another man, it gets to be everybody's business."

The End

Ugh. 

There are lots of little things wrong with this episode, but my biggest issue with it is the story the producers and writers chose to focus on. You have two stories, one is about the extortion of small businesses and the explosive consequences if they don't comply with the thugs' demands. The other is about some guy who wants to fight another guy because he wants him to stay away from his sister. Why would choose to tell the story of the two guys over the one about money and bombings and a crime syndicate? Maybe it was easier to film the one about the American Indians, maybe they felt the extortion story was too close to "Log 174: Loan Sharks" from earlier in the season. Who knows? 

When the best thing I can find to say about an episode is that it had a couple of mistakes and actor from Emergency!, it deserves to be rated:



Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. See you next time with "Log 135: Arson".
KMA-367

7 comments:

  1. I never really followed the explosives story, thank you for clearing it up.

    The," Boyfriend guy is too old and ugly for a 16 year old to want to be with, that always bugs me. You are right, call the police! Great review blechy episode. Interesting about the injuns, seems like a dumb mistake, but they did not have Google. The inconsistancy in the uniforms is an odd mistake. Maybe the car and the out of car things were filmed so far apart, the continuity person had died.

    Thanks for another terrific Review and of course, always love your screencaps!

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  2. Yeah I didn't care for this one as much as others!!! I did like that the lady landlord was gutsy though!! And just what was wrong with her hair ????!! It looked lovely to me😜😜😜😜. Your eyes are really good I never noticed the uniform swap!! Not much to say but enjoyed those gorgeous policemen!!!!

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  3. I agree with you about this episode. That Indian messing with some 16 year old girl.. Yuck. Gross and illegal. And what the hell would a 16 yr old want with an ugly old guy like that anyhow?
    Great blog as always!

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  4. I never noticed all the uniform channges too. And I love Tim Donnelly as the pizza delivery guy. And that was some nasty looking pizza.

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  5. Another one bites the dust. Thanks Keeley! I would have asked my own sister if SHE was on drugs if that's her idea of a boyfriend. Maybe the missing Mustang was driven by the addled16 year old pothead???

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  6. It's funny, I thought I was getting pretty good at predicting your ratings as I progress through the series - you like lots of action and calls, so I thought you'd give this episode an "average" rating - I was pleased to see you didn't like it either.

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  7. Note also, this is a very "dark" episode.

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